Before it got released on DVD today, Tron: Legacy managed to play in theaters long enough to establish Joseph Kosinski as the highest-grossing first-time director of a live-action film in Hollywood history. The film’s $399 million global gross recently eclipsed the $397.5 million gross that JJ Abrams turned in on 2006′s Mission: Impossible 3.
Now, such a distinction is relative. Tron: Legacy cost between $165 million and $170 million to make and a comparable amount to market. Sam Mendes made his debut on the $15 million American Beauty, which grossed $356 million worldwide in 1999. Jan De Bont’s debut on the $30 million Speed turned in a $350 million worldwide gross in 1994. Ticket prices were lower when American Beauty and Speed were released, and Tron: Legacy had the extra benefit of higher 3D pricing. American Beauty and Speed were extravagantly profitable. Disney will make some money on Tron: Legacy, but they won’t need to back up the Brink’s truck.
But Tron: Legacy’s performance certainly gives the studio reason to think it has poured the foundation for a franchise. Disney has begun work on a sequel, which Kosinski is constructing with original writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Maybe because of Tron: Legacy’s pricey launch and heightened expectations, I had the impression that the film had been a bit underwhelming, despite a $44 million opening weekend. But looks are deceiving. For one … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: FX is sticking to its strategy of buying marquee movies with the recent purchase of the TV rights to six films, all of which opened at No. 1 at the box office. The list includes Disney’s Tron: Legacy, which has grossed $171.6 million domestically; Sony’s The Green Hornet, which has cleared $97.5 million to date; Screen Gems’ The Roommate, whose current domestic haul stands at $37.2; Sony’s Just Go With It, starring basic-cable-friendly Adam Sandler ($94 million to date); Paramount’s animated Rango ($68 million after 10 days of release), directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp; and the current box-office champ, Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles, which opened with $35.6 million this past weekend. The six films will begin their run on FX in early to mid-2013. Their license fees are said to be 10%-12% of their domestic box-office range.
FX started to systematically target for acquisition No.1 box-office movies a couple of years ago, with the first wave of those movies recently starting to make their way to the network’s lineup. Year-to-date, FX’s primetime movies have averaged 934,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 category, up 28% from last year. The movies outperformed the average for FX’s primetime lineup, which is up 20% from 2010. (In addition to movies, FX airs original programming and Two and a Half Men reruns in primetime.) FX’s most recent premiere of Madagascar 2 on Friday night drew 1.1 million viewers in 18-49, with … Read More »
The company’s solid third quarter was driven mainly by aggressive expansion as the large-screen format chain signed up 100 new theaters. Revenue jumped to $51.1 million from $43.5 million in the same quarter last year, and earnings rose to $6.7 million from $1.1 million. With no Avatar, Inception was the big draw; the film grossed $50 million, making it the fourth highest grossing title in the company’s history. The 4th quarter should be strong as releases include Warner Bros’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Disney’s Tron: Legacy and Megamind from DreamWorks Animation. In its report, the company stressed three future initiatives: brand marketing, differentiation through technology and reinvestment.
The first video for Tron:Legacy was issued today and it gives the sense of visual effects and scale that was in the 20 minutes of footage that the studio recently previewed in NY and LA. The song is “Derezzed” by Daft Punk, which scored the film. The Joseph Kosinski-directed pic will be released December 17th.
I see that The Hollywood Reporter is trumpeting an “exclusive” on the deal right now, but if you consider all Deadline has written on this sales effort–including that Disney was close to a deal–that’s like racing to the top of what you think is an uncharted hilltop, glimpsing my crumpled Bud Light empties scattered about, and then planting your flag anyway. Nice try!
Disney closed its deal to acquire Oblivion, the Radical Publishing graphic novel that will be turned into a directing vehicle for Tron:Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski. Deadline reported on Monday that Disney had the inside track and an exclusive negotiating window after four studios bid on the property following last week’s pitch effort. The other studios in the running were Paramount, Fox’s Chernin Entertainment and Universal. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Back from vamping Tron: Legacy for the third straight year at Comic-Con, director Joseph Kosinski this week is making the rounds at studios. He’s pitching a movie version of Oblivion, a futuristic science fiction love story he’ll direct, based on a graphic novel he created for Radical Publishing.
Kosinski will give Disney first crack at the movie tonight, and will pitch with Radical chief Barry Levine to other studios through the week if Disney doesn’t take it off the table. This one won’t likely take long to land a buyer. Plotted by Kosinski and written by Arvid Nelson, the comic takes place in an apocalyptic future where most people live above the clouds because the surface of the Earth is uninhabitable. A soldier is stuck on the desolate Earth repairing drones that patrol and destroy a savage alien race called The Scavengers. He comes across a beautiful woman who has crashed in a craft. Together they take an epic adventure that changes his world view.
Kosinski had the idea for the project three years ago, long before he was a hot commodity. Because he was engaged for so long making Tron: Legacy, Kosinski and his reps set the project up first as a graphic novel with Radical’s Levine. Timing on when he’ll direct the film depends on script, and what happens with a possible Tron: Legacy sequel. Oblivion will be published … Read More »